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Top 10 easy-to-use photo sharing websites and slideshow tools for your nonprofit photos

"Because a picture is worth a thousand words"

Photo sharing has become increasingly popular in the last few years as a way for associations, clubs and nonprofits to publish or distribute their digital photos online. As a result, many of the photo sharing websites that host these photos have become useful sources and practical tools for managing photos online.

Using a photo sharing site is an easy way to share your nonprofit's event, conference or holiday photos on the web in a creative way. Photo sharing sites allow one or more users to upload photos to a main account and share those photos by email, instant messenger or by posting the slideshows on your favorite social networking site, website or blog.

I took some time to review and search through a number of slideshow tools to find one that 1) works consistently across browsers, 2) is classy looking, 3) easy to use, 4) free. In no particular order, here are the 10 slideshow tools that I found.

1. Flickr

One of the most well known photo sharing sites is Flickr. Flickr is a photo sharing website and web services suite, as well as an online community platform. In addition to being a popular web site for users to share personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository. All you need to do is organize your photos into sets or collections, or just tag them after uploading them onto Flickr and sending the view as a slideshow link of the set or tag to your friends or clients. Flickr is free. However, you may need a Pro account for $24.95 USD per year in case of hitting the monthly bandwidth, file size or other limitations of your free account.

2. Slideoo

Slideoo is a new web application for Flickr users that lets you create horizontal streaming slideshows of your Flickr photos. To use Slideoo, you'll need to already be a registered member of Flickr. To create a slideshow, simply visit Slideoo and enter a Flickr username. After customizing the slideshow width, image size, and number of pictures, Slideoo quickly compiles the images into a scrollable format. Finally, quickpost or embed code into the platform of your choice. Slideoo is also free of charge.

3. SimpleViewer

SimpleViewer is a free, customizable Flash image viewing application from Airtight Interactive. It presents users with a simple and easy way to view 9 of the gallery photos and easily page through thumbnails. A simple click on a thumbnail will change the main image to the selected photo. Creating your own SimpleViewer gallery is easy. There are 5 options for creating a SimpleViewer gallery -- svManager, Automatic via Desktop software, Automatic via Server-side Script, Manual, FlickrViewer and using wordpress. There is also a section for advanced users who wish to customize the SimpleViewer file structure or XML data source.

4. Jumpcut

Jumpcut is a free, video publishing site with a full featured on-line video and slideshow editing tool. With an easy to understand Flash interface you can rearrange and trim clips and add snazzy transitions. You can upload your images or have Jumpcut transfer your photos from Flickr. You can remix a video and repost it. You can also email video from the video camera on your mobile phone to the site. This service is in Flash and the web 2.0 slideshow editor does not require anything else than your browser and is really easy to use.

5. SoundSlides

Soundslides is a simple, affordable way of getting audio-visual presentations onto the web. Soundslides will output an easy to view, simple to navigate presentation ready to be viewed in any browser. Users can then view presentations regardless of their operating system, as the only requirement is the ever present Flash Plugin. SoundSlides is not free. It's available for both Mac and PC and comes in two versions: a basic version which runs $39.95 and a pro version that costs $69.95.

6. Photobucket

Photobucket offers free tools for making slideshows of photos, videos and music, and users can share their media with friends by email, IM and mobile phone. It is an extremely popular site with MySpace users and is a great tool for uploading photos and emdedding them in blogs. With Photobucket, members can choose from free or paid plans to store and share their images and videos. Free accounts provide 1 GB of free storage (~10,000 images), 10 GB of bandwidth, and limited image sizes and content length.

7. Imageloop

Imageloop allows users to create and design their own animated slideshows for displaying digital photos. These slideshows can be published on blogs and on social networking sites. It is also fairly easy to use and no technical expertise is required. To get started, select "Create Slideshow" from the menu at the top of the page. By clicking on "Add Photos" you can use multiple sources to upload your photos. Once you have started to upload your photos you can give your Slideshow an individual look. Add a title and a brief description to your photos so that they appear on your Slideshow too. You can also use the option "Edit Slideshow" to choose the style of your Slideshow, the color of the text and many other features. Once you have designed and saved your Slideshow, you can display it on the web or send it to your friends.

8. Slide

Slide is the MySpace user´s choice tool for showing off their favorite pictures in a creative way. The slide shows can be added to websites, put in RSS feeds, and sent to your desktop as a screensaver. There´s a Slide toolbar you can add to IE for easy uploading and hosting. Skins are also available to put around your YouTube videos for extra control over what you´re viewing. News clippings and different information can be added as well. Viewers can make comments in your guestbook and you can view them all on a map that pinpoints their location.

9. Smugmug

SmugMug is a popular online photo sharing site launched about four years ago. It is very user-friendly (not a small deal for volunteers and staff in any non-profit!) and offers lots of options for you as well as the people you are sharing your photos with. SmugMug allows you to post photos and add captions and footers to your photos to let people know what's happening in each photo. The site also offers excellent ways to share your pictures with others, and it lets you browse other people's collections by keyword tags, similar to Flickr. There are a lot of other features that SmugMug offers. Smugmug has a great mapping feature that allows users to map their pictures. There is also a Google Earth feeds for each user. Another key feature is the PhotoRank where viewers, whether they have a SmugMug account or not, can give a photo a thumb up or a thumb down and it will contribute to its popularity ranking on the site. So people can see at a glance what a given SmugMug customer's most popular photos are or the most popular photos tagged with some keyword tag.

10. Zooomr

Zooomr is a free photo-sharing and hosting service similar to Flickr. It supports multiple languages (nearly 12) and geotagging. One of its more interesting features called “portals“. Portals are clickable zones that link photos together. Users can create all sorts of complex portals and share them with friends. Zooomr is free. There is no upload limit, bandwidth limit, download limit, file size limit, set limit, or number of photo limits. You can also blog a photo.Just click on the magnifying glass above a photo and choose what size you want. Then you can simply cut and paste the html code that Zooomr generates into your blog.

As you can see, there are many choices, but my favorite one would be Flickr for ease of use, simplicity and price. What other photo sharing sites have you tried and which one do you prefer? 

Want to learn more about how your non-profit organization can make the most of social media on a small budget? Get updates from the Wild Apricot non-profit technology blog by RSS feed or by email, free!

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 9:00 AM


  • Digital Photo Printing: Tips on Printing Great Photos » Top 10 easy-to-use slideshow tools for your conference and event …

    Digital Photo Printing: Tips on Printing Great Photos » Top 10 easy-to-use slideshow tools for your conference and event … said:

    Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 9:44 AM
  • Carl

    Carl said:

    Monday, 17 December 2007 at 4:08 AM

    While <a href="http://www.koffeephoto.com">KoffeePhoto</a> runs like a desktop photo organizer, it includes features for automatic generation of web pages and slideshows. Everything is done wihtout hassle. Free.

  • Jay

    Jay said:

    Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 10:25 AM

    I got our Youth Group up and running on Pixamo- You can set it to members only so that it is a private community where you can chat, share photos and videos, etcetc.  It allowed me to import my Yahoo address book so that all our members usernames and stuff were right there already.  It was real easy to get running.

  • Andrew

    Andrew said:

    Friday, 28 December 2007 at 11:54 PM

    Don't forget Picasa, Google's really well-designed product, which has an easy-to-use web album facility and albums can either be public or have limited access as you wish. The 'classiest' end product I've found so far is JAlbum who now provide free hosting too. Some work needed on their interface, though, which I found a little less than intuitive. One more - take a look at Splashcast. All are free and virtually ad free, which I find important. Slide is good but their ad links can be a problem for some group profiles.

  • me

    me said:

    Monday, 31 December 2007 at 5:08 AM

    thanks for this great list! and nice work by other users, adding to the compilation :)

    i recently found picnik ( http://www.picnik.com ) - it's mainly a photo-editing site, but is great if you're on the road and need to resize, crop, rotate, or add text or some really cool special effects to a photo (on a jump drive, in a card reader, from your digi camera, etc).

  • Wild Apricot Blog

    Wild Apricot Blog said:

    Friday, 18 January 2008 at 8:36 AM

    Looking back on my posts for December 2007, these were the most popular posts according to Google Analytics:

  • laura

    laura said:

    Monday, 26 May 2008 at 7:44 AM

    Hey, another website to check out http://www.comboost.com/.

    Photosharing, great slideshows, and you can even download your albums as pdfs. Of course you can add your albums to your blog and website...

    Have a look!!

  • husac

    husac said:

    Monday, 02 June 2008 at 12:44 PM


    You can use my photos for free at http://freeartisticphotos.com  - all of them are taken by me and made Public Domain ; hope you enjoy them!

    Cheers, Husac!

    I hope that you found it interesting!

  • Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

    Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] said:

    Monday, 02 June 2008 at 12:58 PM


    Thanks for sharing! These are very nice pictures and I am sure our blog readers will appreciate that - many non-profits struggle to afford commercial photos.

  • Prateek Jain

    Prateek Jain said:

    Sunday, 10 August 2008 at 2:52 PM

    bubbleshare.com is another good website which I use.

  • Nikk Ganey

    Nikk Ganey said:

    Tuesday, 07 October 2008 at 10:26 AM

    I am not sure if anyone has heard, but there is a new photo sharing and photo product creating website that just launched and it's really cool, it's called RocketLife. The URL is a demo site that someone else sent me and I can not believe how cool it is and how user friendly it is. It's faster than Shutterfly and let's you do more than any other photo site.  I hope everyone get's to see how great of a product this is.

  • Craig Maunder

    Craig Maunder said:

    Wednesday, 24 December 2008 at 3:47 AM

    Smugmug is an excellent option for non-profits, amateurs and pros alike.  Beautiful galleries that take no effort to setup, no advertising, total security for your photos if you need it (no one can simply steal them like on Flickr) and excellent customer service.

    The $40 fee for an entry-level account is more than justified by the ease of use and can be reduced to $15 for your first year (way less than the Flickr pro account) with the following codes:

    promo code: YAHOO (1/2 price on all memberships)

    referral code: XYIzvlyAxTPgo ($5 off)

    This $15 then gets you unlimited uploads and downloads and an excellent means of storing your photos offsite.

  • Mika

    Mika said:

    Wednesday, 04 March 2009 at 4:10 AM

    I really think that you should add Joomeo (<a href="http://www.joomeo.com">http://www.joomeo.com</a>) to this list

  • Phographer

    Phographer said:

    Saturday, 04 April 2009 at 4:18 AM

    I have been using Phocentral.com for many months and i am entirely satisfied with it. Its free, simple and secure. You can create albums of type public, private and password-protected. There are also sharing tools available to publish your photos on blogs/sites. http://www.phocentral.com

    With many features like slide show, easy-to-remember links, mail to friends, gallery view, etc. I love it!

    I think you should add this too

  • Karen Smalls

    Karen Smalls said:

    Friday, 17 April 2009 at 11:16 AM

    I just found this one. Super easy just email the photos/video:


  • steve caturan

    steve caturan said:

    Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 3:13 PM

    if you're looking for an alternative service using the Gallery 2 (open-source) platform, have a look at http://www.pixi.me/

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